Sher­iff praises three vic­tims

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Court re­porter

An 80-year-old Ruther­glen man is be­hind bars after be­ing con­victed of sex­u­ally abus­ing three sis­ters over a 14-year pe­riod.

Pensioner Wil­liam Cas­sells, of Chapel Court, was last week found guilty of in­ap­pro­pri­ately touch­ing the girls in a con­vic­tion the NSPCC says could en­cour­age other vic­tims of his­toric abuse to come for­ward.

The of­fences were com­mit­ted be­tween 1975 and 1989 at ad­dresses in Castlemilk and Ruther­glen.

His youngest vic­tim was only 10 when he be­gan abus­ing her. The oth­ers were 11 and 12 when Cas­sells sex­u­ally as­saulted them.

The vic­tims, who are now in their 40s and 50s, told pros­e­cu­tor Rose­mary Guin­nane dur­ing a trial at the High Court in Glas­gow that they told their mother what had hap­pened to them but she did not be­lieve them.

They said that Cas­sells

would of­ten look after them and when he did he would abuse them.

He de­nied the al­le­ga­tions but did not give ev­i­dence.

The sis­ters re­cently de­cided to bring Cas­sells to jus­tice for his crimes and re­ported the his­toric sex­ual abuse to the po­lice. After the guilty ver­dicts were de­liv­ered, Ms Guin­nane said: “The ac­cused has no pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions. He is 80 and lives alone in Ruther­glen. His wife is in a care home.”

Judge Tom Hughes told Cas­sells: “These of­fences took place over a pe­riod of time. You took ad­van­tage of young girls. These are very se­ri­ous of­fences.

“It may be of some com­fort to your vic­tims that the jury ac­cepted they were telling the truth.”

A spokesman for NSPCC Scot­land said: “Abuse ru­ins child­hoods and can have a last­ing ef­fect well into adult­hood.

“These women de­serve great credit for hav­ing the brav­ery to come for­ward and speak out about the or­deals they en­dured in their youth.

“Vic­tims need to know they will be lis­tened to and sup­ported when they talk to the au­thor­i­ties about what has hap­pened to them, re­gard­less of when a crime took place, and we hope Cas­sells’ con­vic­tion will give oth­ers the con­fi­dence to speak out and seek jus­tice.”

Cas­sells was re­manded in cus­tody pend­ing sen­tence on Oc­to­ber 11 at the High Court in Ed­in­burgh and has been placed on the sex of­fend­ers’ reg­is­ter.

De­fence coun­sel John McEl­roy will give his plea in mit­i­ga­tion be­fore sen­tence is passed.

Any adult con­cerned about the wel­fare of a child or young per­son can call the NSPCC helpline for free, 24/7, on 0808 800 5000.

Chil­dren can call Childline at any time on 0800 1111.

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